NPI blocks, NJPW/CMLL, year end awards, Misterio, ROH, AAA/US

CMLL had one of it’s near-monthly press conferences yesterday. In usual CMLL fashion, news from the press conference leaked out slowly and spottily. So far, via CMLL’s Twitter, ESTO, superluchas, TV Deportes, Ovaciones, and CMLL.com

  • The National Parajes Increidible tournament was formerly announced and many of the teams were there to talk about their participation. This is being pushed as part of the nebulous Nueva Era concept, though I still expect it to look a lot like the tournaments of the previous era (short, unsatisfying.) CMLL has the block breakdown.

Block A
– Volador Jr. & Terrible (Monterrey)
– Mr. Niebla & Maximo (DF)
– Epehsto & Euforia (Laguna)
– Mistico & Averno (DF)
– Hijo del Fantasma & Mephisto (DF)
– Blue Panther & Misterioso II (Laguna)
– Atlantis & Mascara Dorada (GDL)
– Sombra & Dragon Rojo Jr. (Laguna)

Block B
– Texano Jr. & Rush (GDL)
– Ultimo Guerrero & Stuka Jr. (Laguna)
– Shocker & Sagrado (GDL)
– Rey Bucanero & Valiente (DF)
– Felino & Sangre Azteca (DF)
– Hector Garza & Toscano (DF)
– Negro Casas & La Mascara (DF)
– Ray Mendoza & Brazo de Plata (DF)

Everyone talked about how they were going to put regional pride ahead of personal differences.

  • CMLL/NJPW issues were build up more. Terrible, Texano, Naito and Okumura (playing the role of Yujiro) discussed the IWGP tag team championship match on 02/14. Terrible & Texano said they’d cheat again to win, while Naito pointed out it’ll be a NJPW referee for this rematch. The conversation nearly ended in punches, of course. Terrible & Texano leave for Japan on 02/12 and return on 02/15. Next NJPW tour starts on 01/27, so Naito’s presumably gone a few days before that.In related news, NJPW will be sending Taichi, Giant Benard, Jushin Liger, and Tanahashi (spelled as Tamaguchi in one place; gotta remember to feed it!) to CMLL.Only Taichi is announced with a firm date (02/14). Given his age, this might be an extended trip. CMLL seems to be building it up as much, but I’m sure we’ll get better info from NJPW.

    I don’t know if I want to see the entire match, but I now desperately want to see Giant Benard batte with STRONG MAN.

    Averno & Ultimo Guerrero also got to talk about letting down the entire country of Mexico by losing in the Tokyo Dome.

  • The new trios champs of Mascara Dorada, Metro and Stuka Jr. were presented, with Sangre Azteca running into challenge for a rematch on behalf of his team. Sangre really should set his sights a little higher. He was actually there to talk about the last tour of Europe, and to hand over a Key to the City they got while in France.
  • CMLL will hold internet voting to determine the best of CMLL. The awards and candidates
    • Novato: Delta, Diamante, Rush, Angel de Oro
    • Revelacion: Vangelis, Mascara Dorada, Polvora, Dragon Rojo Jr.
    • Luchadora: Amapola, Marcela, Dark Angel, Lady Apache
    • Extranjero: Strong Man, Yujiro, Naito, Liger
    • Parejas: Volador & Sombra, Terrible & Texano, No Limit, Averno & Mephisto, Ultimo Guerrero & Atlantis
    • Trio: Guerreros de la Atlantida, Angeles Rebeldes, Peste Negro, Hijo del Avenro, Super Sky Team
    • Tecnico: Blue Panther, Shocker, Hector Garza, La Mascara, La Sombra (no Mistico?)
    • Rudo: Negro Casas, Ultimo Guerrero, Mr. Niebla, Terrible, Averno
    • Mas Popular: Mistico, Ultimo Guerrero, Volador Jr., Mr. Niebla

Voting is up now and runs thru 02/14. My quick picks are Angel de Oro (was around longer), Mascara Dorada, Amapola, STRONG MAN (or maybe Naito), Terrible & Texano, Peste Negra, uh Sombra I guess, Negro Casas, and Mistico.

  • Remember the contest to win a home? (It’s tough not to, they plug it every single match.) 300 people signed up for the contest, but only 55 remain – having bought a ticket every week – after about a month of it. I would’ve figured there were more CMLL diehards than that, but then I had no idea you had to sign up for it.

Also at the press conference, Hector Garza says he’d like to win Ultimo Guerrero’s title and mask. So would I, but I don’t think it’s happening for either of us. Their non-title (and non-apuesta) singles match headlines tonight’s Arena Mexico show, which may or may not actually air. Leaning heavily to “not”.

Rey Misterio Jr. did a satellite interview tour in Mexico this past week to promote next month’s tour. In ESTO, he said he’s two to three years away from retirement, depending on how a post-WrestleMania surgery goes. He doesn’t see Dos Jr., Incognito or Super Nova replacing him, because he doesn’t feel like WWE does that with anyone, they just try to make everyone new and different person. (He also said he’d face Undertaker and Batista in a three way at the Royal Rumble, which I believe is either spoiler or a change of plans, since it’s a singles match at the moment.)

Ring of Honor is working with former WCW promoter Gary Juster on it’s 04/03 show in Charlotte. After WCW, Juster promoted some lucha shows in the Atlanta area, and it’s probably not a coincidence they’ll be using lucha libre wrestlers (and advertising it in the Hispanic media, the key!). There was no promotion mentioned in the press release about this, and I’m reasonable sure this means it’ll be indy lucha guys who would appeal to people on message boards. (Think Perros del Mal, and then think the guy who is not a Perro.)

Kinda with the same idea of marketing to lucha libre fans for ROH-type indy shows, I noticed local Chicago lucha GALLI was promoting next week’s Dragon Gate show in Chicago, with some discounted tickets for kids. Plenty of tickets are apparently still available (though I already have mine.)

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter mentions Naito specifically asked to come back to Mexico, because he had fun working on top.

Also, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, but AAA is talking about moving into the US market. Also, Teddy Hart is on thin ice. Also, the sun is due to come up tomorrow. Anyway, included in the discussion about AAA moving to the US (setting up offices in Texas or California and getting better TV), there’s also talk about a change in the creative team, bringing in big outside talent (also not new) and working with TNA again.

WON also mentioned Heavy Metal (and Black Warrior) as coming in. Metal would be very interesting. He left AAA back in 2005 after making a “it’s either Konnan or me” demand to Antonio Pena when Pena was bringing Konnan back. Pena obviously went with Konnan, but that would seem to indicate his feeling about Konnan at the time. But things do change over time.

Black Terry Jr. posted photos of last night’s Arena Naucalpan show. Looks like Gringo Loco has converted Avisman & Hijo del Diablo to proud Americans. I hope they’re using Toby Keith music.

AAA continues it’s series of interviews with Crazy Boy, who talks about dropping his ultraviolent style For The Children.

VassaloVision, a tiny Hispanic network previously only existing in Houston, has expanded to Las Vegas. They list lucha libre on Saturday and Sunday afternoons; I’m guessing this is either the AULL or Tijuana stuff being repeated again.

Perros del Mal has a picture teaser of their 01/31 show with Santo and Demon.

Cronicas and Leyendas looks back at Andre’s debut in Mexico

DJ Spectro shows off his new Rudos vs Rudos feature.

LuchaWorld has KrisZ’s news update and the latest Slamin’ Stan!

IWRG (SUN) 01/17 Arena Naucalpan
1) Guizmo vs Guerrero 2000
2) Dinamic Black & Eragon vs Alan Extreme & Hijo del Signo
3) Angelico, Chico Che, Zatura vs ?, El Hijo del Diablo, Veneno
4) Canek & el Hijo del Canek vs Hijo del Pantera & Pantera and Exodia & Olímpico and Negro Navarro & Trauma I [IWRG IC TAG, semifinal]

This is listed as a father/son tournament to define new tag team champs. (So long, Ricky Cruzz & Scorpio Jr. – wait, why you ever the champs to start with?) Block B is next week,with the finals on the 31st.

Guessing the other four teams: Piratas and Mascaras Ano 2000s both worked the father/son match (this will be the same rules – fathers take their sons place when eliminated.) The Brazos have been around enough that one ought to fit in here. The 8th team is more of a question mark. Maybe Signo returns for one match? Maybe Diablo Jr. does? Maybe Negro Navarro works twice? Maybe they reveal a new family relationship? Maybe Black Terry Jr. jumps in the ring and starts beating people with his camera? Many questions.

They’ve seemed to be going in a Canek/Pirata feud; I thought maybe that was leading to a mask match (which would definitely explain why Hijo del Pirata Morgan is here and not Pirata Morgan Jr.), but a tag title feud makes as much sense.

IWRG on TeleFormula #8 (12/26)

taped @ Arena Naucalpan 12/20/2009

Angelico, Bushi, Freelance vs Black Terry, Trauma II, Veneno part 2 – Part 1 is the one you want to see, where Angelico and Trauma II play a game of HORSE with submissions. Surely the idea of having Angelico go second is so he’d get the big reaction for matching. The fans cheered for Trauma II in the end, so sometimes plans don’t work out well. Angelico is easily better than the director here, as they MISSED THE FINISH OF THE MATCH. No replay either.

Canek & el Hijo del Canek vs Hijo de Pirata Morgan & Pirata Morgan and Negro Navarro & Trauma I and Máscara Año 2000 & Máscara Año 2000 Jr. and Exodia & Olímpico and Hijo del Pantera & Pantera – maybe it wasn’t going to be, before Olimpico got hurt, but this felt like a mess to me. Just random brawling and random finishes to set up a Canek/Pirata Morgan battle I didn’t want to see. Canek is Canek, but Pirata seems slower in IWRG. Maybe it’s just my memory.

CMLL on 52MX #214 (12/26)

taped @ Arena Mexico, 12/20/2009

Lluvia, Marcela, Star Fire vs Amapola, La Comandante, Yezca – not included in the video is the post match promo, where Amapola & Comadante are great and the interviewer tries to make it about himself. Post match interviews are much more interesting than the 20 second flowery descriptions of everyone, but it doesn’t

That does seem to be the common pattern with a lot of the added features they’ve added the last few months here – the announcer is up front and focused on, and maybe the wrestler if off in a corner of the screen. If the point of these is to hype the wrestler, they’re the people who should get their name on the screen, and it should be less of a star turn for each of the (four!) announcers. Even if the idea made sense (which it doesn’t), the way they’re doing is a failure at getting the wrestlers over and a moderate success at getting the announcers over. At least when AAA books 20 minute matches to get Hijo del Tirantes over, he’s actually going to be in a match.

(This match was eh. Had some moments. Need about 4 more of these before I can do a ranking of the women, which may or may not be useful.)

Sagrado, Toscano, Valiente vs Rey Bucanero, Sangre Azteca, Shigeo Okumura – Speaking of getting non-wrestlers over: BOOOOOO MONITO. (I may have been less upset if Bucanero wasn’t the victim. Hey, at least my biases are pretty obvious and totally bizarre, but won’t affect my year end votes.) This did not seem to be as good a match as I thought, but maybe it’s the match you ought to have when it’s going to come down to Monito getting involved.

AAA #918 (12/26)

taped Arena Coliseo Monterrey @ 12/06/2009

Laredo Kid, Mari Apache, Mini Charly Manson, Pimpinela Escarlata vs La Hechicera, Mini Abismo Negro, Tigre Cota, Yuriko – this had it’s moments, but it wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be with these people involved. Everyone has been better.

Aerostar & Fabi Apache vs Billy Boy & Sexy Star for the AAA Mixed Tag Team Championship – really turned into more of an angle than a match, with the rudos destroying the tecnicos to build up the drama for Fabi’s big win (oh, right.) It’s always weird how the rudos are much more vicious after someone’s been hurt than before.

El Elegido & Rocky Romero vs Alex Koslov & Kenzo Suzuki – missing something. Maybe it was too long of a beatdown, because the drop off from Kenzo to Ozz shouldn’t be that big (at this point, anyway.)

Jack Evans & Marco Corleone vs Joe Lider & Nicho el Millionario – was Marco legit hurt on the first dive into the ring? It’s what they’re claiming and it makes sense (because the botch didn’t make sense in the match and they did hurry to cover it up), but things aren’t usually to figure out. Jack actually had more neat stuff with the ramp – the section where he went back and forth killing Lider & Nicho was awesome – but I don’t know the match entirely was good.

El Mesías, La Parka Jr., Latin Lover vs Dr. Wagner Jr., Silver King, Último Gladiador – crowd brawling + a typical AAA match. Not a straight build for Guerra de Titanes I was expecting, but still not that interesting to me. Latin winning this match was an obvious clue (assuming plans didn’t change.)

Mini Cibernetico, Perro teases match that will not happen, GDL

Lost half this update! Hopefully I don’t forget too much.

Mini Cibernetico says it was NOT him who stabbed two people and he’s not sure why the press reported it. Damian Moreno Quiroz says he was at home, sleeping, at the time he was supposedly stabbing people. Mini Cibernetico says he doesn’t know the woman and notes he’s not actually in jail. Something doesn’t add up here – perhaps the person arrested just claimed to be Mini Cibernetico (or was another one), and somehow the wrong real name got linked to it?

Perro Aguayo Jr. gets press today by claiming he’ll be doing a Perro vs Santo vs Demon vs Park mask match sometime before the end of the year. This is one that is impossible believe until a firm date and building is announced, and even then it’s iffy until it’s in the ring. It’s a great way to get attention, since no one ever calls Perro Jr. (or anyone else) on teasing these fantasy matches and never actually delivering on them, but sadly Perro Jr. does not manage to work in a plug for the show that’s actually occurring this Sunday. Record is giving away tickets to that show.

AAA says Mesias will be back on AAA TV in February, announcing some February tapings in the process:

  • 02/05: Tehuacan, Puebla
  • 02/05: Puebla, Puebla
  • 02/07: Salamanca, Guanajuato

AAA also says they’ll be back at the Lucha Libre Expo, which will be on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th. No month is actually mentioned – maybe they’re going back to April.

There’s also a text interview with Rocky Romero and a video one with Marisela Pena

The “101 lances y llaves de la lucha libre” photo exhibition is moving to UNAM. La Jornada has an interview with a Arena Puebla photographer.

DJ Spectro looks back at Raman’s debut.

Segunda Caida has a recap of the 11/29/09 IWRG, with Freelance vs Oficial Fierro.

Ras de Lona #80 is part 3 of their 2009 review. Hooray for a new episode this weekend.

CMLL (SUN) 01/17 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) El Divino & Thunder Boy vs In Memoria & Titanio
2) Magnum & Samurai vs Asesino Negro & Drago
3) Infierno & León Blanco vs Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno
4) La Sombra, Máscara Dorada, Valiente vs Dragon Rojo Jr., Sangre Azteca, Shigeo Okumura
5) Brazo de Plata vs Terrible

Rough for Terrible! Magnum & Samurai are teaming again…

CMLL (TUE) 01/19 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Nube Roja vs Skaxy
2) Idolo & Virgo vs Acertijo & Exterminador
3) Astaroth & Hierro vs Ebola & Ráfaga
4) Metal Blanco, Stuka Jr., Valiente vs Dragon Rojo Jr., Máscara Mágica, Sangre Azteca
5) Máximo & Shocker vs Terrible & Texano

Maximo still listed on lineups, so maybe he’ll be back next week.

01/16-17 Lucha Times

box. A lot of rerun material this week.

AAA-US: Best of, part 1.

52MX: maybe 2nd and 4th is the new thing here, which would be Strippers vs 2 Cats & 1 Horse, plus Poder No Limit vs Hijo del Fantasma and two guys he leapfrogged

IWRG on Teleformula: show wasn’t taped, so-rerun?

CMLL: another best of? Seemed like that’s where they left off.

AAA-MEX: Best of, part 3?

CMLL-FOX: Saturday morning at 9am, with Fuerza Aerea CMLL/Azteca vs Tuareg, and Triad vs Panther/Mistico/Strong Man

C3: Back to top 4, I’d guess. Is Felino working his way thru the young high flyers?

Puebla: Unless I’m missing something on TVC Deportes doesn’t have Puebla listed for this Sunday. Dunno.

Monterrey: maybe the Silver Star/Hator match?

IWRG-TVC: This is supposed to be taped, and Suicida/Zatura vs Traumas looks fun, as does the main event return of Bombero Infernal.

CMLL on 52MX #213 (12/19)

taped Arena Mexico @ 12/13/2009

Fabián el Gitano, Metro, Rush vs Euforia, Nosferatu, Skándalo – hey look, Euforia & Nosferatu teaming up again. It’s been so long. I think I like Metro more than most because I keep seeing him in matches with guys like his partners and it’s all that context.

La Sombra, Shocker, Strong Man vs Terrible, Texano Jr., Vangelis – This was pretty fun in the wacky Strong Man style. I don’t need to see it every week, kinda like Porky, but every so often is OK. It is funny to be at the point where CMLL is doing a better job booking Gronda than AAA.

Guadalajara, Mexico, AAA Sin Limite, ratings, Puebla

CMLL (TUE) 01/12 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Fuego en el Ring]
1) Relampago & Virgo b Meteoro & Saturno
2) Asesino Negro & Drago b Angelo & Metatrón
3) Hierro & Palacio Negro b Ángel del Mal & Rey Trueno
4) Máscara Dorada & Valiente b Ephesto & Euforia
5) Blue Panther, Brazo de Plata, Hijo del Fantasma b Máscara Mágica, Terrible, Texano

Valiente got sent over here to replace Maximo. Porky pinned Terrible in the main event. Tag team champions of this specific building losing a tag team match in this specific building should lead somewhere…

CMLL (TUE) 01/12 Arena Mexico [ESTO, Fuego en el Ring]
3) Ángel de Plata, Fuego, Stuka Jr. b Arkangel de la Muerte, Nitro, Skándalo
4) Rey Bucanero, Sangre Azteca, Último Guerrero b Metro, Sagrado, Shocker
5) Héctor Garza, La Máscara, La Sombra DQ Felino, Naito, Negro Casas

Felino yanked off La Sombra’s mask for the straight fall loss. Metro was here for Valiente.

AAA held a press conference and early screening of their movie for the press yesterday. Somehow, I did not get an invite, but there’s a lot of articles out about it today. What you need to know:

– Movie cost 30 million pesos ($2.35 mil US), but they hope to make 80,000,000 ($6.27). That’d be a strong return of investment. They’ll open on 250 screens, and they’re thinking of a TV series or a movie if succesful.
– Obviously, that means they think it’ll do better than Campones de Lucha Libre did, and there’s talk about purposely spacing it away from that movie.
– Konnan says wrestlers are more relatable heroes than soccer players, because fans sit a lot closer to the ring. Parka says WWE is a fad, since Mexican wrestling is obviously much better.
– The movie will be dubbed in Japanese and English. They hope to send it to Japan, but there’s no real plans mentioned for elsewhere.
– The picture from the AAA site that kinda looked like Mr. Niebla is in fact Mr. Niebla. Movies take a while to make, what are you going to do.
– Also, and I only realized (or remembered) this a couple weeks ago: they’re calling AAA Sin Limite de Tiempo because there’s no limit in time – they’re traveling all around it, you see.
– The film director watched La Parka Jr. for a month to study how he acts in the ring. Making movies is tough.
– Movie includes La Parka Jr. winning a championship; clearly a work of fiction

Last weekend’s ratings, as noted by LLL down below:

01/08 SmackDown: 9.7
01/09 CMLL: 4.0
01/10 AAA: 3.7
01/11 Raw: 9.3 (19.0)

CMLL’s Best of 2009 show was a high mark for their ratings, while AAA’s Best Of was a lower than usual mark for them. Also not sure if it’s a blip but remember SmackDown ratings were doing mid 11’s back in October and have dropped off that mark since early November. Raw ratings are basically steady, but this is the lowest number we’ve gotten for them.

Terrible says he and Texano to Japan on 02/12. He was so excited, he had trouble sleeping at first.

Ovaciones has a short video interview with Super Nova about WWE.

Cronicas y Leyendas looks back at Hijo del Santo’s debut and Ultimo Guerrero taking Mr. Aguila’s mask.

Kcidis predicts the ending of Hector Garza & Ultimo Guerrero.

Segunda Caida starts a run of IWRG recap with the Castle of Terror show (no thoughts on the skit?), the Dr. Cerbero vs Suicida show, and Flor Metalica vs La Diabolica.

Ohtani’s Jacket writes about the IWRG handhelds 01/07/10 and Bushi vs Dr. Cerebro.

CMLL (MON) 01/18 Arena Puebla
1) Asturiano & SWAT vs Mr. Rafaga & Policeman
2) Bam Bam, Fantasy, Tzuki vs Pequeño Damian 666, Pequeño Universo 2000, Pequeño Violencia
3) Ángel de Oro, Ángel de Plata, Sagrado vs Nitro, Nosferatu, Shigeo Okumura
4) Hijo del Fantasma, La Máscara, Valiente vs Dragon Rojo Jr., Misterioso II, Sangre Azteca
5) La Sombra, Shocker, Volador Jr. vs Felino, Mr. Niebla, Último Guerrero

Tzuki is booked. Will he appear? Semimain is two third of the world trios champions vs Poder Mexica, while main is the tag team champions. (So probably no new feuds from this.)